ICT

Facebook to Open Community Hub Space in Nigeria Next Year

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Social media giant Facebook will commission a Community Hub Space in Nigeria next year to support software developers and technology entrepreneurs across the continent.

The centre would host an incubator programme to help develop IT start-ups. It will also train 50,000 Nigerians in digital skills.

Facebook also becomes the latest technology firm to pursue a training programme in fast-growing Africa, who are increasing seizing opportunities in the country.

Africa’s rapid population growth, falling data costs and heavy adoption of mobile phones rather than PCs has made it an attractive destination for technology companies looking to attract more users.

“We understand the important role Facebook plays here in Nigeria with developers and start-ups and are invested in helping these communities,” Emeka Afigbo, its regional head of platform partnership, said in a statement on Wednesday.

It however, did not provide details of the period over which its planned training would take place in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous country with 180 million inhabitants.

Facebook said the training – aimed at software developers, entrepreneurs and students – would be offered in cities including the capital, Abuja, Port Harcourt in the south, Calabar in the southeast and Kaduna in the north.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited technology companies in Lagos, Nigeria last year and his charitable foundation provided $24 million to Andela, a firm which trains developers.

Google’s Chief Executive said in July during a visit to Lagos that the company was looking at offering to train 10 million people across the continent in online skills over the next five years. He also said it hoped to train 100,000 software developers in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Although Africa may not offer as much opportunity to add consumers as China or India, because large wealth gaps mean that many people in places like Nigeria have little disposable income, Facebook said more than 22 million people already use its social media website every month in Nigeria.

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